Archive | 5:49 am

Ruby Toesday — the bath edition

16 Sep

KGMom asked about Ruby’s post-bath-ritual.  After years of bathing Labradors, bathing a 15 lb dog is a delight.  She does not like baths but it’s much easier to deal with 15 lbs of unhappiness than with 70-90 lbs of unhappiness.  Also, bathing a 15 lb dog is much, much faster than those large behemouths with the very thick coats that hold onto soap rather firmly.  So, I don’t mind it at all.

I bathe Ruby in the bathtub — she’s small enough to do it in the kitchen sink but she feels safer with a little room around her.  I think it’s the illusion that she could escape at any time.  🙂  I use the sprayer from the shower.  I get her wet, soap her up with a nice tea tree oil doggy shampoo, and rinse her thoroughly.

All my dogs have been trained to “shake off” when I am finished bathing them.  With the labs, gallons of water would come out of the their coats so teaching them to not shake until they had permission was essential.  Teaching a dog to shake is pretty easy.  When they are soaking wet, you blow in their ears.  I am not making this up!  Seriously, blow a good, firm blast of air in their ear.  It makes them want to shake their head and then well the body follows.  The key is to hold up a towel, blow in their ear, and say, “Shake off!” all at the same time.  Once they shake, remember to praise them up oneside and down the other.  Ruby gives one or two shakes for me and then she’s pretty much dry — there’s not much too her.  🙂

I scoop her up in a towel and carry her to the living room steps.  I then clip her toenails with my own fingernail clipper.  Her nails are teeny-tiny and her toes are impossibly small and delicate.  Most of her toenails are easy to clip — white nails let you see where the quick is so you can’t mess it up.  She has one black toenail however and that’s more touchy.  Thankfully, I had black labs and have a pretty good idea of where you can and can’t clip a dog’s nails.  I’ve never quicked Ruby, thank goodness, so she is pretty calm and trusting about it all.

Once I release her from the towel, she is a wild woman.  She tears around the house and rubs herself on the rug.  “Ick,” she is clearly thinking, “get this bath stink off me!”  Still for the rest of us, it’s a true joy to have her smelling sweet and looking shiny and beautiful again.

Needlepaws